Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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Partnachklamm (Partnach Gorge) is located in Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany.  It is simply breathtaking in winter! 

Snow-covered trees,  huge dripping icicles, and frozen waterfalls make it a winter wonderland.  It’s also one of the few gorges that are open in winter.

Snow covered trees and river in Garmisch-Partenkirchen

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Hiking path takes visitors through caves cut out from the rocks along the gorge.

Where is the Partnachklamm 

The Partnachklamm is located  1 hour from Munich and is easily accessed from the Bavarian Alpine resort of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It is a natural conduit for the Partnach river. The Partnachklamm follows the historic route used by lumberjacks and leads through tunnels and overhanging cliffs.

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What Is The Partnachklamm

The Partnachklamm is just 700m long and 80m deep but there are several opportunities for some great hiking. You can easily change your route to make the hike more strenuous if you would like. The Partnachklamm was made a natural monument in 1912. Before the 2 pathways were established, visiting the Partnachklamm was a perilous affair. 

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Why Visit Partnachklamm?

The flow of the Partnach River has created galleries and tunnels along the side of the rock wall which allows visitors to walk along the river and duck behind some beautiful waterfalls during the summer. During winter the river still rushes through is water rapids and in some parts, you will find tranquil water basins. The iron bridge which was built in 1914 gives visitors a great place to take in the views of this amazing gorge. 

Snow covered gorge that is open year round in Bavaria.

Why I Enjoy Visiting Partnachklamm In Winter

The other advantage of going to the Partnachklamm in winter is that we saw only a few other hikers on the trail, giving us the illusion that we had the entire gorge to ourselves.  Torchlight tours of the gorge are also available, although we did a self-guided tour.  I would definitely return to do a torchlight tour if I have the opportunity.

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Huge icicles make the gorge especially beautiful during winter.The Partnachklamm was simply stunning covered in icicles, although our German friends were disappointed that the icicles weren’t bigger and recommended that we come back when it was colder and the icicles would be triple the size.  I can’t believe I’m actually hoping for colder weather so that I can go back.

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Self-operated gondola that transfers passengers back and forth from the hut.

A Welcome Detour

Our German friends wisely recommended that we extend our hike by 20 minutes to the Forthaus Graseck Hotel, where we warmed up and grabbed a bite to eat.  Instead of going down the same way, we went down in the self-operated Graseckseilbahn, a self-operated funicular that’s waiting for you just steps from the hotel. 

Having no prior funicular operating experience, I was a bit nervous but relieved to learn that it self-started upon closing the door.  Even I could manage that with my limited machine operating experience!  It’s very old and a bit daunting, especially if you are scared of heights as one of our friends was, but I was not about to turn down the opportunity to add “funicular operator” to my resume. 

Plus the views on the way down were worth it.  There’s no such thing as a free ride though – at the bottom, the operator collects your €3.50 per person fee.

What To Know Before You Go To Partnachklamm

  • You can reach Partnacklamm from the Olympic Ski Stadiums car park by foot or horse-drawn carriage (weather dependant) 
  • Ensure that you are wearing warm, waterproof clothing as well as shoes with a good grip as the path gets wet and slippery. 
  • The gorge is open from June to September between 6:00 am and 10:00 pm and between October to May between 8:00 am and 6:00 pm. 
  • Dogs are welcome as long as they are leashed. 
  • The gorge is closed for a short time during Spring when the snows are melting for safety reasons. There are other short times that are closed for maintenance. It is a good idea to check the Partnachklamm website to check for closures. 
  • If your visiting in Spring and Fall the nearby Höllentalklam, (Hell Valley Gorge) is longer and also offers longer hiking possibilities. I would recommend doing the Höllentalklamm sometime between Spring and Fall. It was simply amazing in winter, for two different, but equally inspiring hikes.
  • Learn more about the Partnachklamm (Gorge) history.  

I’m going back to the Parnachklamm during the next cold spell to see the gigantic icicles torch in hand.  Don’t worry you can go back down with me in the Graseckseilbahn with me – I’m an experienced operator!

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27 thoughts on “Partnachklamm: The Winter Jewel of Garmisch-Partenkirchen”

  1. Pingback: 70 Fantastic Tips and Stories for Your Ultimate Winter Wonderland Travel Joy - All Colores
  2. We stayed for three months in Garmisch last winter, and this place was one of my favorites, it’s incredible how huge the icicles were, like frozen waterfalls!

  3. I was about to visit this place when I was in GaPa las summer. Partnachklamm seems to be even more exciting during winter! I will take care that I have time to experience this when I visit GaPa again 🙂


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